Corporate Social Responsibility
Harrisons Malayalam’s agricultural operations are spread across the length and breadth of Kerala and adjoining parts of Tamil Nadu in South India. Working in what are remote areas far from modern towns, the company has through its welfare activities for its very large workforce brought education, healthcare and other modern amenities normally only associated with urban areas, and it has done so for nearly a hundred years. As a consequence, it has been able to provide a certain quality of life and a standard of living that succeeding generations have preferred to work for the company in what in early days were inhospitable mountain regions and forest areas rather than head for towns! The other major benefit of retaining people who have grown up on our estates is that HML can boast of a hundred percent educated workforce.
Today each estate or group of estates has became a completely self-contained community, with its own markets, places of worship, schools, residential lines, and hospitals.
The welfare and the well being of Harrisons Malayalam’s large workforce – about 17,000 employees and their families drawn largely from the weaker sections of the society is of paramount importance to the company. About half of our employees are women who are employed on the same terms and conditions as their male counterparts. Our ability to provide work to both has resulted in families that have two and at times more earning members – yet again contributing to higher standard of living than industrial workers in modern towns. The complete workforce is housed on the estates, and the company provides practically all the amenities, thereby making workers on the company’s estates the best unskilled agricultural worker in the country enjoying all the facilities that a normal industrial worker has and more. These include:
- Provident fund
- Free housing
- Recreation centres
- Free medical aid
- Drinking water
- Schooling for the children up to primary level
- Protective clothing
- Sick leave benefits
- Maternity benefits
- Leave with wages
Even today, although the regions in which the company’s estates are located now come under the purview of village panchayats or town municipalities, the company continues to provide welfare and civic amenities because at HML worker welfare is high priority for the company, well beyond that which may be required by legalities and technicalities.
For a few decades now, HML has been operating a Comprehensive Labour Welfare Scheme (CLWS) on all its estates. The thrust of the CLWS programme has been:
- Childcare and development.
- Nutrition support and education.
- Maternal child healthcare and family planning.
- Health and Social education.
- Environmental hygiene and sanitation.
- Planning of leisure.
Over the years the CLWS programme has succeeded in achieving wonderful results
- Reducing birth and infant mortality rates.
- Bringing down nutritional Anemia and Vitamin A deficiency.
- Preventing recurrence of communicable and water-borne diseases.
The following data will provide a measure of the benifits of such an approach,
|Infant Mortality Rate||7.12||13 .00||67.00|
|Maternal Mortality Rate||Nil||00.80||03.80|
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (FICCI) has in recognition of HML’s success in these areas, given HML the Award for Corporate Initiative in the field of Family Welfare thrice.